Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 17 July 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Sir Michael Fallon @ CSIS on Russia and UK policy. Kramnik elaborates on the collapse of the Russian submarine fleet refit and recapitalisation program. Rabinovich lambasts Navalniy for opting to publicly debate Colonel Igor Girkin (Strelkov) of Sloviansk 2014 retreat fame. Kotorev argues that public in Russia has lost respect for the government. More religious persecution and Crimea. NYT on how the Bolsheviks funded 1917. In Belarus, a recently upgraded MiG-29BM FULCRUM C suffers undercarriage collapse during take-off and burns as a result. More on Belarusian LGMs. Belarus exports to Ukraine approaching record high – mainly POL.

MH17 is major theme in MSM. Bellingcat release a very decent summary report on their OSINT effort, best described as “MH17 For [MSM] Dummies” – an immense collection and analysis effort via Russian social media. RFE/RL animated clip also very good. Forbes.ru elaborate on peculiar Russian move to close adjacent airspace before MH17 that was unlike every previous time, when the Russian airspace change lagged Ukraine by up to days.

Multiple reports on cyber, while Russia thumbs its nose at the West on AI risks. Curiously, Stalin declared cybernetics to be “pseudo-science” setting the Sovs back for decades, while Putin makes the opposite mistake, dabbling into a dangerous area.

Poroshenko visits Odessa to review SEA BREEZE 2017, tours a DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class, gets briefed and gives a speech, citing Pres Reagan, and vowing to expedite the NATO MAP. Some excellent one-liners on Russia, needless to say. Poroshenko then opens with Moldovan PM a joint border post with Transnistria, but no indications as yet they plan to appropriately expel the Russian garrison. Donbass fires continue, and good status update by Euromaidan on the war, maps included. WSJ and Fox essays on Ukraine, the latter clearly toxic – dismantling 325 years of Russian imposed, cultivated and fostered corruption is not a 3 year project.

Russia backpedals on Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi claims – did the FAB-250s miss after all? Iran grabs yet another US hostage.

DPRK argument continues, while POL costs grow due to Chinese export reductions. More on the China – India dispute in the Himalayas.

In France, Pres Macron accepts France’s responsibility for the Vichy campaign to aid the Nazis during the Holocaust, which is precisely what Le Pen has been denying. Concerns Russia may create ethnic strife between Lithuanians, Belarusians and Poles, in much the way they successful baited some Polish and Ukrainian nationalists into a fight. Moldovans concerned about Transnistria forcefully drafting young men into military. Russia may be funding anti-fracking activist groups in US (and one wonders which other groups opposed to anything that generates revenue for the US?). Russians posturing over compounds. Manafort in MSM again.


Russia / Russophone Reports

U.K. Defense Minister Fallon: Break with European Union Gives U.K. More Flexibility to Deal with Russia

Britain’s defense minister said London views its departure of the European Union as an opportunity to step up its ability to deter the Kremlin’s aggressiveness along its borders with the West, monitor Moscow’s increased submarine activity in the North Sea and the Atlantic and ward off Russian intrusions into the United Kingdom’s and other nations’ airspace.

The Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defense of the United Kingdom – YouTube

Please join us on Friday, July 7 for an important conversation with The Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defense of the United Kingdom, o…

Sir Michael Fallon hails £120m investment in UK air power | Shropshire Star

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the deals would sustain British jobs and improve training for fast jet pilots.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Budget Cuts Seriously Constraining Modernization, Expansion of Russian Sub Fleet, Moscow Expert Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 17 – Russia does not have enough operational submarines to carry out the tasks Moscow has set the navy and does not have enough money to modernize existing boats, especially the aging ones Russia inherited from the Soviet Union, or to build new ones to fill the gap, according to military analyst Ilya Kramnik. In an extraordinarily detailed article whose URL tells the story – there is “not enough money” it says – the military expert describes the ways in which Moscow is being forced to cut back its modernization and building programs, leaving the country for the next decade or more, without the submarines it needs (lenta.ru/articles/2017/07/15/notenoughmoney/). At present, there are “formally” 26 multi-purpose submarines in the Russian navy, but “half of them” are either being refitted or scheduled to be refitted. And those on service, Kramnik says specialists have told him, only about half are fully capable of performing in the absence of upgrading. The Russian navy had ambitious plans to address this problem, he continues, but “reductions in spending on the navy obviously have forced it to reduce its appetite for modernization and, where modernization is occurring, to reduce its extent because it has been found that the costs of refitting now nearly equal the costs of building new ships. The number of Russian submarines in service now is rated by officials as “absolutely insufficient.” Moscow needs at least “twice more” than it has, but budgetary constraints are making the achievement of that goal almost impossible, despite public declarations that more is being done. What makes Kramnik’s article important are the specific details he provides about the situation in various classes of Russian submarines and in various drydock facilities. The appearance of such information suggests that someone in the Navy is trying to frighten civilian political leaders into coming up for more money despite budgetary stringencies.

Ilya Kramnik | Underwater deficit – Lenta.ru [Russian language]

What submarines will the Russian Navy receive on the new state armament program. The new state program of armaments (GWP) for 2018-2025, coming into force from January 2018, according to available information, seriously reduces the cost of a number of expensive programs. Stronger than other restrictions will affect the plans for the rearmament of the Russian Navy, but the upgrade of the submarine will continue. The bid for the submarine fleet as the basis for the combat capabilities of the Navy has been characteristic of the domestic military doctrine for many decades, especially after the emergence of nuclear weapons and nuclear power. The relationship between the potential for submarine and the surface fleet can be argued for a very long time, but, in one way or another, the submarine fleet remains the leading part of the Russian Navy, and its rearmament is considered to be a priority among other programs implemented in the interests of the Navy.

Slava Rabinovich | Opinion: Debate with a terrorist, or Why Putin will not travel to The Hague The place of Girkin – in the dock in The Hague or Kiev

The main Russian opposition politician, Aleksey Navalny, has agreed to participate in a public debate with one of the organizers of the war in Donbass, a militant Igor Strelkov (Girkin) . The latter claims that Navalny is neither a Russian nationalist nor a patriot of the Russian Federation. While Navalny himself claims the votes of voters of nationalist views. The Russian financier and blogger Slava Rabinovich shared his opinion on the motives of Navalny and the significance of such debates with the Apostrophe. It’s hard to say why Girkin (Strelkov) is still alive. He has a long track record with what he did in the East of Ukraine, including those “posts” that he held there. But he, among other things, is likely to be an investigator and an actor in the tribunal in connection with the crash of a downed Boeing (flight MH-17). When he wrote his famous posts either in “VKontakte”, or in Instagram, in which he called it “bird-bird” and boasted that they shot down a military transport Ukrainian aircraft. Then it turned out that they shot down Boeing – all these posts and photos instantly disappeared from his page. Girkin – the protagonist of monstrous crimes. The question of its liquidation at the moment, perhaps, is not worth it. Look, Andrei Lugovoi, who is accused by the UK of poisoning Alexander Litvinenko with polonium in the center of London, which is a terrorist act in the UK, has not been liquidated in his capital in any way. Moreover, Lugovoy meets in the State Duma. I do not know what role in this monstrous gangster, criminal hierarchy of Girkin (Strelkov), but this, in the words of Putin, does not mean that he had to be killed (like the Russian president said about the murder of Boris Nemtsov, “Apostrophe”). Meadow, call sign “Gloomy”, which was named by the investigation group Bellingcat in connection with Boeing – they are all alive. But when and if the moment comes, they become lifeless. Putin, too, is now alive, but, apparently, if and when the time comes, it will not be alive. For example, if there is a serious threat to his entry into The Hague with a regime change, if this happens in the foreseeable future, he will not reach the Hague either. When they are in Russia, in their gangster burrow, they are not very afraid. In the State Duma there are many criminals – they are at the very top. I’m only partly aware of why Navalny debates with the terrorist. On the one hand, someone can object to me: “Is Putin not a bandit and a murderer, even more abrupt than Girkin?” He is his boss: Putin unleashed a war in Ukraine, and Girkin was only one of the performers. , Now with Putin not to participate in the debate, if Putin allowed Navalny to vote and agreed to such a televised debate? ” Which, of course, is impossible – Putin never participated in any debates. But even if this is allowed, such logic does not work. This would be a necessary political evil. And where is Girkin (Strelkov)? Is he a candidate for presidency, what to debate with him ?! This, in the first place. Secondly, to give a bandit and a murderer a public platform is wrong. Moreover, given the fact that the site of Navalny is only being created, and this, as Alexey Navalny himself emphasized, there will be a certain premiere, debates No. 1. Well, a good candidate was found! I have two factors in explaining why Navalny took such a decision. The first factor, very cynical, is realpolitik. Navalny – master realpolitik. In this respect, he needs to break into the news bulletins in scandalous form. Passions of passion will be enormous, and this is in the hands of his recognizability, which is rapidly rising. The second factor that I can imagine is that Girkin (Strelkov) personifies a certain leader of some part of the population who can associate himself with Russian nationalism, imperial hysteria. They may be supporters of the so-called “New Russia” and all this propaganda. Assuming that Navalny verbally completely defeated Girkin (Strelkov) in such a debate, and some of Girkin’s followers (Strelkov), who did not cover themselves with real crimes, would go over to Navalny’s side, this would be good, not evil. But in this method lies a huge risk, because you need not just a confident, but a deafening victory in the debate over Girkin. And this, firstly, is not guaranteed. Secondly, I saw how Navalny debated with [Anatoly] Chubais and Artem Lebedev, and I can say that Navalny hard loses to skilled demagogues. I’m afraid that, having decided on the debate with Girkin, Navalny is very much at risk not to win a deafening victory, because the latter is also a clever demagogue. And then this possible goal – to lure some supporters – will not be achieved. Moreover, they will also strengthen themselves in their “sect” Girkin (Strelkov). But even considering that the risk is worth it, I would not have gone to such a debate anyway. From the principle: even in realpolitik, I would never have provided a platform for a debate with such a thug and criminal, I would never have talked to him in my life and shook his hand. The place of this man is in the dock in The Hague or Kiev. Slava Rabinovich , a Russian financier and blogger, specially for Apostrophe

In Russia, opposition grows as fear of the state fades – To Inform is to Influence

July 15, 2017 at 4:30 PM EDT NICK SCHIFRIN: This is the season of Russia’s discontent. Under President Vladimir Putin there’s been a tacit agreement that people enjoy their lives and stay out of politics. Now, many Russians are deciding that bargain’s no longer worth it. ALEXEY KOTOREV: Until recently, people were thinking politics were somewhere far…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Jehovah’s Witnesses in North Caucasus Fear Repression Will Grow Worse if Appeal Fails

Paul Goble Staunton, July 17 – Since the Russian Supreme Court ordered the liquidation of Jehovah’s Witnesses communities last spring, members of that denomination in the North Caucasus have been subject to searches, harassment, the cutting off of communal services, abuse of children, firings from work, and worsening relations with their neighbors. Witnesses fear, the Kavkaz-Uzel portal reports, that if their appeal to overturn that decision goes wrong, their situation will deteriorate even further, with officials feeling free to treat them as outlaws and other people in the region following suit, thus making their lives almost unbearable (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/306172/). Yaroslav Sivulsky, a representative of the Russian Administrative Center for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, says that the followers of his group in the North Caucasus have suffered as much or more than the 175,000 Witnesses in Russia as a whole. He adds the Presidential Human Rights ombudsman has been informed and is concerned, but all are waiting for the appeal. “A significant number” of violations of the rights of believers “have taken place in Stavropol and Krasnodar krays,” but there are also reports of violations and related incidents in the republics of the North Caucasus, and in Rostov and Astrakhan oblasts as well. Especially worrisome are cases of police harassment and Witnesses’ being fired from their jobs. In one city in Krasnoyarsk kray, the head of a pre-school fired a Jehovah’s Witness because, she said, her “organization has been recognized as ‘extremist’” and therefore “she cannot work in this institution,” Sivulsky reports. Similar problems have occurred in other places as well. Even more frequently, police have challenged people as to whether they are Witnesses and plan to continue missionary activity and meetings. The Witnesses about whom he has information say that they are obeying the law and won’t meet as long as there is a law against it, but they declare that they are believers and will remain so “to the end of their days.” The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Daghestan report that the authorities haven’t taken dramatic steps against them yet but that they fear that will happen if the court rules against their appeal, something most of them expect. At the same time, Witnesses in that republic say they fear what the population will do if they continue to be called “extremists.” Konstantin Yelavsky, a representative of the Jehovah’s Witnesses community in Sochi, says that things have deteriorated to the point that “we have ceased to meet in kingdom halls for services. Of course, no Witness has ceased to believe: we simply have begun to get together in another way, at home with our friends and fellow believers.” It is a matter of security. “People have begun to consider us not as people who have a different faith but as what the media says extremists. This has begun to influence attitudes toward our children in school,” where teachers now force Witnesses to celebrate holidays that their faith tells them not to. “Earlier they respected our opinion.” Now, they don’t. And Konstantin Sedov, a Witness elder in Volgograd oblast, reports that in his region, the police are raiding the homes of witnesses, confiscating literature, and initiating criminal and administrative proceedings. The Witnesses, he says, remain unbowed: “No one can prohibit us from believing in God: we [simply] are assembling in small groups.”

Colleagues Defend Russia’s ‘Pokemon Go’ Blogger Listed Alongside ‘Terrorists And Extremists’

Russian Internet personalities have rallied to the defense of a blogger, who was convicted of hate speech for a video in which he played Pokemon Go in a church, shortly after he was placed on a…

UAWire – Putin admitted that he was persuaded by his press secretary to participate in an Oliver Stone film

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his press secretary Dmitry Peskov persuaded him to participate in the filming of American director …

Russia delivers new military hardware and equipment to Crimea – To Inform is to Influence

Sunday, July 16, 2017 11:03:44 AM The Russian Ministry of Defense has shipped new military hardware and equipment to divisions of the Southern Military District, including the Crimea. According to the Defense Ministry’s press service, more than 20 of the latest pieces of military hardware were supplied to the Southern Military District. “Among them were…

UAWire – Ukraine: Entry procedures into the Crimea violated by 600 ships

The Crimean Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, which is located in Kyiv, is investigating the illegal entry and exit of more than 600 ships into …

Georgia, Russia At Odds Over Tbilisi-Moscow Flights

TBILISI — Georgian Airways has made changes to its Tbilisi-Moscow flight schedule after Russia cut the number of flights connecting the two capitals. Georgian Airways director Givi Davitashvil…

Yakovenko: Putinist fascism – not an ideology but a set of criminal ‘understandings’ | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |

Vladimir Putin’s fascism, the first “post-modern” fascism, is able to include under its banner so many radically different people because it is not an ideology – no basic text could be prepared about it – but rather a set of “understandings” like those which govern criminal subcultures, according to Igor Yakovenko. Igor Yakovenko Igor Yakovenko The Moscow commentator begins by pointing to the collaboration of three radically different Russian activists – Aleksandr Prokhanov, Mikhail Leontyev, and Maksim Shevchenko – on propaganda in support of Putin’s criminal aggression in Syria. The only thing they share, Yakovenko says, is that they are all fascists.

How German Condoms Funded the Russian Revolution – The New York Times

Lenin’s enemies accused him of taking money from Germany. That’s not quite right. The name Vladimir Ilyich Lenin is not often linked with wartime profiteering and black-market smuggling gangs. A noted prude, he lacked the gene for swashbuckling. Yet crime and speculation helped finance his activities in 1917. A good deal of the cash he needed to prepare the Great October Socialist Revolution was channeled through an import-export company that specialized in contraband pharmaceuticals, lead pencils and German condoms. The trail begins in Switzerland, where Lenin, exiled from Russia, had been living since the outbreak of World War I. In March 1917, the news of revolution in Petrograd reached him in Zurich. As the leader of the Bolsheviks, Russia’s most radical socialist party, it was his duty to go back at once. The problem was that there was no safe route: Lenin’s call to turn the European war into revolution against the bourgeoisie had not endeared him to the French and British, so going west was likely to result in his detention without trial. But heading north through Germany meant crossing land belonging to his country’s enemy. He could expect arrest on charges of treason if he ever made it home. It took more than a week of talks to find an answer. The German government agreed to offer Lenin safe-conduct to the Baltic Sea, escorting him inside a special train car with locked trackside doors. In legal terms, Lenin later explained, the carriage was an “extraterritorial entity,” a capsule shooting over German soil without contact with German citizens, potential enemies and spies. But as it trundled slowly up toward the coast, the vehicle was quickly called “the sealed train.” There was nothing clandestine about the journey. Lenin was eager to solicit the approval of any public figure he could find. At the last minute, in pursuit of international support, he even called the American Legation in Bern, Switzerland. It was a Sunday, and the young man at the desk was leaving for a tennis match. “Call back tomorrow,” he told the future master of the Kremlin. In years to come, when that young man, Allen Dulles, became head of the C.I.A., he dined out on the story of that call.

Almaty Honors Native-Born Actor Known For Role In Heart Of A Dog

A ceremony has been held in Almaty to honor actor Vladimir Tolokonnikov, a prominent native of the Kazakh city who died on July 16 in Moscow. The commemoration was held on July 17 at the Mikhai…

The Aviationist » Watch A MiG-29 Fulcrum Catch Fire On Take Off In Belarus

The video below shows a Belarusian Air Force MiG-29BM Fulcrum that caught fire on take off from Bobruisk on Feb. 27, 2017. Although the incident is under investigation and initially filed as an “engine fire”, the footage seems to show a collapse of the landing gear, an uncommanded retraction (or an untimely one – even though this option is not mentioned in reports emerged so far..) that caused the aircraft to fall on the runway sparking fire. Regardless of the root cause of the fire, the pilot was able to successfully eject from the aircraft.

Belarus Air Force MiG-29 take off fail – YouTube

MiG-29BM FULCRUM C is a Belarusian upgrade variant.

Lukashenka: We Will Protect Western Borders Of ‘Union State’ Together With Russia – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

The dictator started talking about imaginary “aggressors” in the western direction again. — In the current crisis of international relations the importance of diplomacy is increasing significantly. It is the diplomats who must demonstrate their ability and eliminate the slightest chance of the disputable matters being resolved by military means, — Lukashenka started, BelTA reports. According to him, the major goal of diplomacy is to create the necessary conditions for bringing the positions of all stakeholders together and elaborating coordinated approaches: — Only with the consolidation of efforts it is possible to fight global challenges and threats. Therefore, the priority of Belarus’ presidency in the CSTO is to strengthen the CSTO authority in the international arena. He also voiced that, within the period of the CSTO’s existence, a multifunctional structure was created, which had vibrant instruments of effective counteraction to the current challenges and threats: — We cannot feel satisfied with what we have achieved so far. The global situation is alarming. We need to pay close attention to the security of our states, both military and political. A week ago Lukashenka he met with the CSTO defense ministers and secretaries of the security councils. — You are very well aware that Belarus is responsible for the western direction within the frameworks of both the “Union State” and the CSTO. This is Belarus’s zone of responsibility, and our whole army is focused on this, together with the Russian Federation. We have a precise plan of actions in various situations, — he noted, answering the question about the conduct of the West-2017 military exercise.

People’s Guards As “Hybrid War” Soldiers – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

What is really there at the back of Shunevich’s idea to create “people’s guards” in Belarus? Minister of Internal Affairs of Belarus Ihar Shunevich has recently become so initiative as to compete with his patron Lukashenka by being cited in the media. And his last idea – to create “people’s guards” to help the police in fighting crime in Belarus – has been actively discussed in the media and social networks. The people, in general, recall the Soviet experience, when many workers of socialist labor were required to put on their hands a red armband several times a month and, armed with a whistle, to go out onto the city streets to protect the peace of their fellow citizens. However, not only the image of people’s guard Nadia Klyueva from the Soviet film “The Most Charming And Attractive One” comes to mind when you think about Shunevich’s new initiative. There is no need to create people’s guards in our country. In today’s Belarus, there are 7 times more police officers per 100,000 people than in the USSR. Former head of the Security Service of Ukraine in Lugansk region Alexander Petrulevich has recently told Gordonua.com curious things about “people’s guards”. According to him, Russia activated its agents under the guise of “national guards” in the east of Ukraine in January 2014, a month before the Euromaidan victory, President Viktor Yanukovych’s flight and the invasion of the Crimea. “Already on January 27, 2014, the Luhansk regional council held an extraordinary session, which took a decision to create the so-called people’s guards, the formation of which was entrusted to the local Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Security Service bodies. Mayors of all cities and heads of all districts of the Lugansk region were engaged in organizing the “guards”. This means that Russia activated the “sleeping agents” in the east of Ukraine minimum in January 2014, a month before the Maidan victory and Yanukovych’s flight,” – Petrulevich said. He stresses that Luhansk regional administration head’s adviser Eldar Nadirashvili, who later defected to the side of the “LPR” fighters, took on the task of the guards’ formation. The Major-General also adds that it was the “people’s guards” who were taking by storm the Lugansk SSU building at the beginning of the Russian invasion to the east of Ukraine. “By the way, all these “people’s guards” and local Cossacks stormed the Lugansk SSU building on April 6, 2014, and later they were transformed into” the armed forces of the LPR,” – Petrulevich said. Let me remind you that the Minister of Internal Affairs of Belarus is a native of the Lugansk region, who keeps a close watch on the local pro-Russian separatists’ track record. It is strange that the initiative to create “people’s guards” has come into his bright head just before the large-scale Belarusian-Russian military exercises West-2017. The personnel of these formations might be not quite the “workers’ or peasants’” one. Members of numerous pro-Russian paramilitary organizations under the patronage of the ROC, the “Cossacks” and various military sports clubs, might join the “people’s guards” in the first place. During or after the exercises, they can get together with Russian military men dressed in civilian clothes, who can “remain behind” in our country in case an order for occupation is received. Shunevich has repeatedly signaled Moscow by wearing the NKVD uniform at a military parade or erecting a monument to the Russian tsarist policeman. He has become famous for the brutal dispersal of the demonstration on a holy day for the Belarusians – on Freedom Day, faking up the criminal case against the Belarusian patriots, organizing tortures and participating personally in interrogating the Belarusian opposition leaders after the 2010 elections. So there is something to think about. As the Ukrainian experience shows, there’s just one step from “people’s guards” to the pro-Russian separatism. Natallia Radzina, Charter97.org Editor-in-Chief

Trade Turnover Between Belarus And Ukraine Heads Towards Record High – Charter’97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk

Oil products make up the lion’s share of Belarus’ exports. A session of the Belarusian-Ukrainian commission on trade and economic cooperation is to be held in Kiev on July 17-18. Experts from both sides will discuss how to stimulate trade, improve cooperation in industrial cooperation, engineering, transport, agro-industrial complex, Radio Svaboda reports. Last year, Belarus and Ukraine managed to eliminate key barriers to mutual access to the markets. They resolved issue of the duration of sanitary and hygienic expertise for Ukrainian products imported into Belarus, abolished the special duty of 39.2% for a number of Belarusian goods imported to Ukraine. As a result, in 2016, the volume of trade amounted to 3.8 billion dollars with an increase of 10%. Ukraine confirmed the status of the second most important trade partner of Belarus. Its share in the total commodity turnover of Belarus was 7.5%. In turn, the share of Belarusian products in Ukrainian imports is also more than 7%. The good dynamics has been noted this year, as well. In January-May, trade increased by 26.7% and amounted to more than 1.7 billion dollars, while the growth in supply was observed by both sides. According to the preliminary estimates, in the first half of the year, the sales turnover between Belarus and Ukraine exceeded $ 2 million. Total exports amounted to 2 billion 848 million dollars, of which 1 billion 749 million – oil products. Also Belarus exports gas, bitumen, fertilizers to Ukraine.

MH17 Reports

MH17 The Open Source Investigation Three Years Later

Over the past three years, thanks to a wealth of openly accessible and verifiable information, we have been able to determine precisely how that Buk missile launcher reached a field in eastern Ukraine. We know who organized the transport of the weapon in Ukraine, where the missile launcher came from before it arrived in Ukraine, and even the small dents and remaining traces of painted marks on the Buk that reveal its identity, going back to 2010. The case of MH17 is a convoluted one, drawing the focus of international criminal investigations, state-sponsored disinformation campaigns, and amateur sleuths alike. This report will serve as a survey of the information related to the downing of MH17 that is freely available for anyone with an internet connection to access, analyze, and verify – in other words, open source information. This information can be found anywhere from a television broadcast, to satellite imagery, to the social media accounts of a Russian or Ukrainian serviceman. With an event as controversial and important as the downing of MH17, it is vital that, to the greatest extent possible, information related to the case is accessible and verifiable for the public. At the end of this report, we will also provide a survey of the counter-narratives to the established account of the downing of MH17. Some of these counter-narratives were created and promoted by the Russian Federation, while others are almost exclusively found online.

Bellingcat: MH17 – the open source investigation, three years later

On July 17, Bellingcat’s team of investigative journalists has released report summarizing all major open source evidence surrounding the downing of MH17 in an easy-to-read 73-page survey. News 17 July from UNIAN.

MH17 crash: Bellingcat names ‘only credible’ culprit – 17.07.2017 12:09 — Ukrinform News

17.07.2017 12:09. The experts of the Bellingcat Investigation Team have released a report summarizing all major open source evidence surrounding the downing of MH17, naming Buk 332 of the Russian Armed Forces to be the only credible candidate for the missile launcher that downed MH17. The 73-page report, summarizing the circumstances that led to the downing of MH17 and information on the Buk missile launcher that downed the passenger plane was posted on the Bellingcat’s website. “The only credible candidate for the missile launcher that downed MH17 is Russian Buk 332, of the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation,” the report reads. The Bellingcat report recreates the following version of events. Between June 23-25, 2014, Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade transported vehicles within Russia to positions close to the Russian border with Ukraine. This includes Buk 332, later photographed and filmed in Ukraine on July 17 and 18, 2014. On July 17, 2014, Buk 332 was in Ukraine, and arrived in Donetsk in the morning. From there it traveled eastwards through separatist-held territory, and eventually reached the town of Snizhne in the early afternoon. Buk 332 arrived at a field south of Snizhne and fired a missile that resulted in the destruction of flight MH17. Buk 332 was next filmed traveling east through the separatist-controlled city of Luhansk on the morning of July 18, 2014 missing one missile. Intercepted communications indicate that the missile launcher was taken into Russia shortly after this video was filmed, the report says.

RFE/RL | What You Need to Know About The Downing of MH17, Three Years Later – YouTube

Three years ago, 283 passengers and 15 crew members boarded Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Kuala Lumpur. Less than three hou…

Forbes: Russia closed its airspace on Ukraine’s border hours before MH17 disaster – LB.ua news portal

On the night of 17 July, 2014, before the crash of the MH17 flight, Russia closed the airspace on the border with Ukraine in the zone of responsibility of the Rostov zonal center of the unified air traffic management system, Russian Forbes wrote with reference to the final report on the results of the technical investigation of the Netherlands Security Council (DSB), published in October 2015. The restriction was imposed 17 hours and 20 minutes before the Buk anti-aircraft missile system downed a Malaysian Boeing, killing 298 people. The Russian side imposed restrictions on civil aviation flights at an altitude of less than 16,150 meters, which is comparable to the maximum height firing range of the Buk anti-aircraft missile system (about 18 km). The restrictions were imposed “to ensure flight safety”, because of “military operations on the territory of Ukraine near the state border of the Russian Federation and the fact of shelling of the territory of the Russian Federation from the territory of Ukraine.” Forbes’ Vadim Lukashevich notes that the hostilities in the east of Ukraine have lasted for several months by then, but Russia never seem to worry before mid-July 2014. As soon as Russia prepared itself, some Buk downed a passenger liner – do you believe in such amazing coincidences?!” the journalist writes. In the course of the investigation, DSB kept asking the Russian side about the reasons for introducing such restrictions on civil aviation flights. Rosaviatsia, the industry regulator, responded that the move was aimed to “coordinate restrictive measures with the adjacent airspace of Ukraine.” In actual fact, Forbes writes, no agreement was reached. On 14 July, Ukraine closed the airspace above the ATO zone to the height of 9,454 m, above which it was possible to fly, and Russia imposed restrictions to a much higher altitude of 16,150 m. When asked by DSB experts about why Russia imposed a ban higher than the Ukrainian one, the Russian side kept silence. In addition, although on 17 July, 2014, the route of the MN17 flight ran across the zone of responsibility of the Rostov zonal center, to which the restriction entered on the eve of midnight was addressed. “Therefore, the Rostov dispatcher knew that the Malaysian Boeing 777, […] would invade the zone of Russian airspace banned for civil aviation flights, and was silent,” Lukashevich observes. He reminds that the Rostov dispatcher strangely remained silent in more than one and a half hundreds of previous flights, leading over a hundred civil aircrafts through his zone of responsibility from midnight July 17 until Ukraine closed airspace over the ATO zone. Previously it was announced that the perpetrators of the downing of the MN17 flight in Donbas can be tried in absentia.

Russia closed its border airspace right before MH17 crash, – Forbes

17.07.17 10:24 – Russia closed its border airspace right before MH17 crash, – Forbes On the night of July 17, 2014, Russia banned all civil aviation flights from its airspace adjacent to Ukraine at an altitude of 16,150 meters and below, which corresponds to the Buk missile system maximum firing range. View news.

The tragedy of MH17 flight: new details three years later | Forbes.ru

If you open the 180th page of the final report of the DSB, you will find that Russia suddenly, on the night of July 17, 2014, closed the restrictions by issuing a document NOTAM UUUUV6158 / 14 for civil aviation flights its contiguous with Ukraine Russian airspace in the area of responsibility of Rostov Zone center of the unified air traffic management system up to a height of more than 16 kilometers (up to FL530), which is comparable to the maximum altitude of the defeat of the Buk anti-aircraft missile system ( about 18 kilometers ). And already in 17 hours 20 minutes over the contiguous with Russia territory of Ukraine, a certain Buk missile system knocked out the Malaysian Boeing with passengers. Think about it: in the southeast of Ukraine there has been an armed conflict for several months, in the area of which the Ukrainian “Buki” are located – and all this time the Russian air traffic control services do not bother. Russian aviation does not cross the Russian-Ukrainian border, separatists (they are insurgents, militias, they took the weapons of the Donetsk miners, etc.) do not have their aircraft, so the Ukrainian Buki are not used at all, and Russia is absolutely calm. As the conflict gets tougher, separatists / militias begin to use the incomprehensible portable anti-aircraft missile systems that are being taken from them, knocking down Ukrainian military aircraft. After each case, Ukraine introduces temporary (from several hours to several days) restrictions on civil aviation flights. Russia is unruffled. The height of the air targets intercepted by the separatists / militiamen gradually increases, and the height of the prohibitions on civil aviation flights declared by Ukraine is also growing: first it was impossible to fly below the one and a half kilometer (5 thousand feet), then (from June 6 to June 30, 2014) below the echelon FL260 (7925 meters). Russia still does not react. On July 14, 2014, Ukraine limits the minimum altitude for the flight of civilian civilian vessels over the FLO20 FLO20 echelon zone (9754 meters, incidentally, in the final report of the Dutch on page 209 on the preventive introduction of this restriction, “The reason for this change remains unclear”). Russia is waiting for two more days, and on July 16 it publishes its ban (it takes effect on the night of July 17) for the Russian airspace adjacent to the Donbas for flights below … at once 16150 meters. In other words, from 00:00 on July 17, 2014 in civil airspace of Russia, bordering on the Ukrainian zone of ATO, civil aircraft are prohibited from flying at the altitude shot by the Buk SAM. Restrictions are introduced “to ensure safety of flights”, and as their reasons “combat operations on the territory of Ukraine near the state border of the Russian Federation and the fact of firing from the territory of Ukraine towards the territory of the Russian Federation” are indicated. That is, until this moment Ukrainian “Buki” in the ATU zone our air traffic control service did not interest at all, and from the zero hour zero minutes on July 17 they suddenly became deadly dangerous. For several months they calmly stood in the ATU zone, but suddenly on the night of July 17 they (in Russia’s opinion) were going to shoot towards the border Russian airspace. And as soon as Russia has prepared for this (in advance!), Immediately “some” “Buk” is knocked down by a passenger liner – do you believe in such amazing coincidences ?! Moreover, the fact that the “shelling from the Ukrainian territory in the direction of the Russian” (a number of fallen Ukrainian shells in the area of the “Donetsk” crossing point of the Rostov region in the morning of July 13, 2014) is called a dubious “double-edged sword” It appeared at the end of June 2014, Shooting “from abroad” was repeatedly recorded on both sides of the Russian-Ukrainian border. But further – even more interesting! When during the investigation the Dutch Security Council asked the Russian side about the reasons for imposing restrictions on civil aviation flights in the border areas of Russian airspace in the zone of responsibility of the Rostov zonal center of the unified air traffic management system, put in place at midnight on July 17, 2014, then Rosaviatsia Replied that this was done with the aim of “coordinating restrictive measures with the adjacent airspace of Ukraine.” But in fact, no agreement was reached – Ukraine closed the airspace to a height of 9454 meters (FL320), above which it was possible to fly, and Russia closed its airspace from its side to a much higher altitude of 16,150 meters (to the FL530 level), which As a matter of fact was a full interdiction on flights of civil aircraft. To the question of Dutch DSB experts about the obvious “conflict of heights” of the two bans (FL320 west of the Russian-Ukrainian border and FL530 east), i.e. The reason for the introduction of a Russian ban above the Ukrainian, and it is up to an altitude of more than 16 kilometers – Russia did not answer anything. But that’s not all! On July 17, 2014, the route of the ill-fated MN17 flight ran over the zone of responsibility of the Rostov zonal center, which was addressed to the restriction that had entered the night before, so the Rostov dispatcher knew that when crossing the state border of Russia, the Malaysian Boeing 777, following FL330 echelon, invaded the flight forbidden civil aviation area of Russian airspace, and said nothing … As he said nothing, and in more than half the hundreds of previous occasions, spending more than a hundred civilian aircraft through its ONU responsibility to midnight July 17, 2014 until the closing of airspace over Ukraine ATO area. During these three years, we have asked many questions to Kiev, the UN Security Council, the OSCE, the PACE, Dutch experts and investigators, the investigation, etc. Now came the turn of Rosaviatsia’s questions and personally deputy. Head of the department Oleg Storchevoy: – why, after all, the restriction on civil aviation flights in the border areas of Russian airspace in the zone of responsibility of the Rostov zonal center of the unified air traffic management system took effect on July 17, 2014, on the day of the death of the MN17 flight? – Why is the height of these restrictions is prohibitive for all existing types of civil aircraft and practically corresponds to the height shot by Buk anti-aircraft missile systems? – why the dispatchers of the Rostov zonal center of the unified air traffic management system, which was sent on July 16, 2014, NOTAM UUUUV6158 / 14, containing a restriction on flights to an altitude of 16,150 meters, which came into effect at 00:00 on July 17, was completely ignored and continued to serve Border airspace as if nothing had happened, as if there was no limit at all? Why about one and a half hundred flights managed to pass through the closed Russian airspace in the zone of responsibility of the Rostov dispatchers on July 17, 2014? – why the Rostov dispatcher, aware of the curtailment imposed on civil aviation flights below FL530, was preparing to escort MN17 on crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border, instead of telling the crew (directly or through Ukrainian controllers) that they are approaching the zone Closed airspace? – Why did no one, anywhere and never from Russian officials (including Rosaviatsia), speaking about Ukraine’s unconfidence of its airspace over the ATO zone, not mention our amazing perspicacity, like: “Why did Ukraine not close its airspace over the zone of armed conflict, like Did Russia do it “?

Three Years After MH17, One Step Closer to Justice (Op-ed)

With its new agreement, the JIT has shown it is serious about bringing the culprits to justice.

Three years after MH17 tragedy, facts closer, but justice still far off | KyivPost

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down July 17, 2014 by a missile fired by Buk 332 of Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade. This fact, and many of the other facts of the shoot-down the ill-fated passenger plane, emerged soon after the wreckage of the plane, and the bodies of the 298 people who had been on board, dropped out of the skies in the Russian-occupied part of Donetsk Oblast. On the third anniversary of the tragedy on July 17, open-source investigation team Bellingcat issued a 73-page report on MH17 that summarizes the evidence of who was responsible for the mass murder of MH17’s passengers and crew, a well as showing how Russia has attempted to muddy the case with misinformation.

Mogherini calls for holding those responsible for MH17 crash accountable

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini has called on the international community to support a criminal investigation into the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) in Donbas in July 2014. “To ensure that those responsible for the downing of MH17 are held accountable and brought to justice, the criminal investigation needs the continuing support of the international community,” Mogherini said in a statement circulated by the European Union Delegation to Russia on the third anniversary of the MH17 crash. “We expect all the States that are in a position to assist the investigation and prosecution of those responsible to do so, as demanded by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166,” she said. “The European Union and its Member states reiterate their full support for the work of the Joint Investigation Team and welcome the important progress made over the last year. As the Joint Investigation Team’s work as regards individual suspects continues, it is crucial that the investigators can complete their work, independently and thoroughly,” Mogherini said. “We welcome the steps taken by the countries involved to come to an effective prosecution, as well as their decision to opt for the Dutch national justice system embedded in international cooperation and support as an important step towards bringing those responsible for downing flight MH17 to justice,” she said. A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers, citizens of ten countries. Western countries have accused Russia of a role in the crash, and Moscow has categorically dismissed the allegations. The criminal investigation into the crash is being handled by an international investigative team formed without Russia and led by the Dutch prosecution service.

Poroshenko paid tribute to MH17 victims: “A daring crime that would not have happened, if not for Russia’s aggression”

17.07.17 11:00 – Poroshenko paid tribute to MH17 victims: A daring crime that would not have happened, if not for Russia’s aggression President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko honored the memory of 298 innocent victims of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight disaster. View news.

The Latest: Ukraine leader wants justice for plane victims – The Washington Post

The Latest on third anniversary of downing of jetliner over Ukraine (all times local):

Poroshenko on MH17 crash: We must prove inevitability of liability to Russia – 17.07.2017 11:30 — Ukrinform News

17.07.2017 11:30. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is convinced that the impartiality of the Dutch justice will help to establish the truth and punish MH17 crash perpetrators.

Ukraine wants Russia held to account over MH17 downing

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Monday insisted Russia must be held to account over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, three years on from

Australia says those behind MH17 shooting down may be tried in absentia | Australian Aviation

A file image of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER 9M-MRD. (Damien Aiello) Foreign minister Julie Bishop says those behind the shooting down of Malaysia

MH17 memorial to ′Dutch 9/11′ to give sorrow a location | Europe | DW | 17.07.2017

Flight MH17 was shot down over the Ukraine, killing the 298 people on board, on July 17, 2014. Many of the passengers were Dutch. Artist Ronald A. Westerhuis has created a monument in Amsterdam to remember the victims.

Relatives Set Memorial To Victims Of Flight MH17 On Third Anniversary Of Disaster

More than 2,000 relatives will gather in the Netherlands to unveil a memorial to family members on the third anniversary of the day when Flight MH17 was shot down by a missile over conflict-tor…

IW/IO/Cyber Reports

Global cyber attack could spur $53 billion in losses: Lloyd’s of London

A major, global cyber attack could trigger an average of $53 billion of economic losses, a figure on par with a catastrophic natural disaster such as U.S. Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Lloyd’s of London said in a report on Monday.

Russian Cyber Firm Kaspersky Strained With U.S. Relations | Fortune.com

Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab is getting the national security treatment from U.S. officials.

House pressing intel community on cyber-vulnerability disclosures – Fifth Domain | Cyber

A newly passed bill in the House Intelligence Committee directs the Intelligence Community inspector general to review the IC’s role the disclosure process of cyber vulnerabilities. The FY18 Intelligence Authorization Act, which unanimously passed the committee July 13 but is still a bill, is meant to help determine “whether, how and to whom information about a vulnerability that is not publicly known will be shared with or released to a non-federal entity or the public.” Following such a review, the House bill mandates a report 240 days after becoming law about the results of the review to include a description of the IC’s roles and responsibilities within this process, the criteria used by the federal government in making a determination, when and with whom to disclose vulnerabilities, a description of current mechanisms overseeing the process, and recommendations to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability.

Australia plans law to force tech giants to decrypt messages – Fifth Domain | Cyber

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government on Friday proposed a new cybersecurity law to force global technology companies such as Facebook and Google to help police by unscrambling encrypted messages sent by suspected extremists and other criminals. But some experts, as well as Facebook, warned that weakening end-to-end encryption services so that police could eavesdrop would leave communications vulnerable to hackers. The new law would be modeled on Britain’s Investigatory Powers Act, which was passed by the British Parliament in November and gave intelligence agencies some of the most extensive surveillance powers in the Western world, the government said. The Australian bill that would allow courts to order tech companies to quickly unlock communications will be introduced to Parliament by November, officials said. Under the law, internet companies would have the same obligations telephone companies do to help law enforcement agencies, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said. Law enforcement agencies would need warrants to access the communications. “We’ve got a real problem in that the law enforcement agencies are increasingly unable to find out what terrorists and drug traffickers and pedophile rings are up to because of the very high levels of encryption,” Turnbull told reporters.

Elon Musk Says Artificial Intelligence Threatens Human Existence, Argues for Regulation

“By the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’ll be too late, ” Musk said at a U.S. National Governors Association meeting this weekend.

What an artificial intelligence researcher fears about AI [Commentary] – Fifth Domain | Cyber

As an artificial intelligence researcher, I often come across the idea that many people are afraid of what AI might bring. It’s perhaps unsurprising, given both history and the entertainment industry, that we might be afraid of a cybernetic takeover that forces us to live locked away, “Matrix”-like, as some sort of human battery. And yet it is hard for me to look up from the evolutionary computer models I use to develop AI, to think about how the innocent virtual creatures on my screen might become the monsters of the future. Might I become “the destroyer of worlds,” as Oppenheimer lamented after spearheading the construction of the first nuclear bomb? I would take the fame, I suppose, but perhaps the critics are right. Maybe I shouldn’t avoid asking: As an AI expert, what do I fear about artificial intelligence?

TASS: Military & Defense – Kalashnikov gunmaker develops combat module based on artificial intelligence

A fully automated combat module featuring this technology is planned to be demonstrated at the Army-2017 forum

Ukraine Reports

Ukraine to start NATO talks: Russia angry, the West uncertain – France 24

Ukraine will start talks on joining NATO, President Petro Poroshenko announced on Monday, a move likely to strain already tense relations between the West and Ukraine’s neighbour Russia. When Ukraine’s parliament voted to enshrine in law the country’s priority of acceding to NATO membership last month, Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded by saying that the organisation’s spread eastwards “threatens our security and the balance of forces in the Eurasian region. Naturally, the Russian side will take all measures needed to rebalance the situation and ensure our own security”. Poroshenko’s statement this week – at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg – that Ukraine will open membership talks will likely cause further ire in Moscow. “Ukraine joining NATO would, undoubtedly, be upsetting for Russia, which has always considered Ukraine to be its nearly identical, yet somehow lesser Slavic brother, standing loyally at its side,” said Raisa Ostapenko, researcher of Eastern European history and politics at the Sorbonne University in Paris.

Ukraine to start NATO talks: Russia angry, the West uncertain – To Inform is to Influence

Text by Tom WHEELDON Latest update : 2017-07-16 Ukraine will start talks on joining NATO, President Petro Poroshenko announced on Monday, a move likely to strain already tense relations between the West and Ukraine’s neighbour Russia. When Ukraine’s parliament voted to enshrine in law the country’s priority of acceding to NATOmembership last month, Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded by saying…

Ukraine intends to have NATO membership Action Plan back on agenda – Poroshenko

Ukraine is going to return to the agenda the issue of the NATO&nbsp;membership&nbsp;Action Plan, according to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Latest UNIAN news from 17 July.

President: Ukraine wants to return the issue of an action plan for NATO membership to the agenda — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President Petro Poroshenko considers the role of the Ukraine-USA command-and-control training with the involvement of the Sea Breeze troops symbolic and important in the strategic partnership between Ukraine and NATO. The Head of State noted: “Since 1997, this training has provided a substantial assistance in the revival of the military-naval potential of the state and the achievement of compatibility with the NATO fleet, which is a precondition for our membership in this alliance – when the country meets the criteria and the results of our reforms are implemented in every sphere”. The President emphasized that the reforms necessary for NATO membership almost coincide with the reforms necessary for EU membership. According to him, Ukrainians support the idea of Transatlantic and European integration. The President noted that Sea Breeze training were important not only for the Ukrainian AFU. “They are also important for the foreign participants, as they can learn our unique experience of countering the enemy in the hybrid warfare of Russia against the people of Ukraine,” the President said. He reminded that a lot of Ukrainian participants have a real combat experience gained in the repelling of Russian aggression. Today, Ukrainian officers, soldiers and sailors defend not only the native land, but also peace of the European nations and the current international security system, which Russia is trying to destroy, as stated by the President. “We, Ukrainians, have faced the Kremlin’s threat to peace in Europe and the whole world. The threat from the country, which Ronald Reagan called evil empire,” Petro Poroshenko said. The Head of State emphasized that Ukraine had achieved significant progress on the track of Euro-Atlantic integration over the past three years. The President reminded that the visa-free regime with the EU had been introduced and the Association Agreement with the EU had been ratified recently. Petro Poroshenko called the formation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the restoration of the Ukrainian army and fleet an importance achievement. “We want to return the issue of an action plan for NATO membership to the agenda. Numerous public opinion polls demonstrate that the given vector is correct and has no alternatives,” the President concluded.

President: Ukraine wants to return the issue of an action plan for NATO membership to the agenda | Міністерство оборони України

President Petro Poroshenko considers the role of the Ukraine-USA command-and-control training with the involvement of the Sea Breeze troops symbolic and important in the strategic partnership between Ukraine and NATO. The Head of State noted: “Since 1997, this training has provided a substantial assistance in the revival of the military-naval potential of the state and the achievement of compatibility with the NATO fleet, which is a precondition for our membership in this alliance — when the country meets the criteria and the results of our reforms are implemented in every sphere”. The President emphasized that the reforms necessary for NATO membership almost coincide with the reforms necessary for EU membership. According to him, Ukrainians support the idea of Transatlantic and European integration. The President noted that Sea Breeze training were important not only for the Ukrainian AFU. “They are also important for the foreign participants, as they can learn our unique experience of countering the enemy in the hybrid warfare of Russia against the people of Ukraine,” the President said. He reminded that a lot of Ukrainian participants have a real combat experience gained in the repelling of Russian aggression. Today, Ukrainian officers, soldiers and sailors defend not only the native land, but also peace of the European nations and the current international security system, which Russia is trying to destroy, as stated by the President. “We, Ukrainians, have faced the Kremlin’s threat to peace in Europe and the whole world. The threat from the country, which Ronald Reagan called evil empire,” Petro Poroshenko said. The Head of State emphasized that Ukraine had achieved significant progress on the track of Euro-Atlantic integration over the past three years. The President reminded that the visa-free regime with the EU had been introduced and the Association Agreement with the EU had been ratified recently. Petro Poroshenko called the formation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the restoration of the Ukrainian army and fleet an importance achievement. “We want to return the issue of an action plan for NATO membership to the agenda. Numerous public opinion polls demonstrate that the given vector is correct and has no alternatives,” the President concluded. Press Service of the President of Ukraine

President on Sea Breeze 2017 training: This is is our response to ideologists, organizers and sponsors of hybrid wars | Міністерство оборони України

President Petro Poroshenko congratulated the participants of the Ukraine-USA command-and-control training with the involvement of the Sea Breeze troops on the 20th anniversary that will be marked in 2017. The Head of State emphasizes that the given training enhances mutual compatibility and coherence of multinational units year-by-year in conditions as close to combat as possible. “Each year it is an improvement of functioning of the multinational tactical group in the planning of actions under the NATO standards. This year, Ukraine’s participation in the planning has been substantially increased. This joint training is our response to ideologists, organizers and sponsors of hybrid wars,” Petro Poroshenko said. The President stressed that the joint training demonstrated unity and willingness to protect peace and values of the Transatlantic community — democracy, freedom, the rule of law, human rights, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders. “The assistance from our foreign partners in military and military-technical sphere is crucially important in present conditions. I would like to thank you, dear friends, for a systemic facilitation in the training of the Ukrainian warriors and sharing your combat experience gained in various corners of the world,” the President said. The Head of State is confident that the training will become another resolute step towards achieving stability in the region. Press Service of the President of Ukraine

President got himself acquainted with the course of Sea Breeze 2017 training in Odesa region — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President Petro Poroshenko got himself acquainted with the course of the Ukraine-USA command-and-control training with the involvement of the Sea Breeze troops. The Head of State visited Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaydachniy and also met with a crew of U.S. destroyer Carney.

Poltorak and 6th Fleet Cmdr Davidson discuss training exercises

Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has visited Ukraine’s flagship Navy frigate Hetman Sahaidachny and a U.S. Navny destroyer and missile cruiser taking part in the Sea Breeze 2017 military exercises. Poltorak also met with U.S. 6th Fleet Commander Vice-Admiral Philip Davidson to discuss the military exercise. “In the framework of the working trip to Odesa region I checked the progress of the international exercise Sea Breeze-2017, visited the frigate Hetman Sahaidachny of the Ukrainian Navy, the U.S. Navy destroyer ‘Carney’ and the missile cruiser ‘HueCity’ taking part in the exercises. I discussed with Vice-Admiral Philip Davidson the prospects of future stages of the exercises and ways to improve the professional skills of military personnel taking part,” Poltorak said on Facebook on Saturday. Poltorak met Davidson aboard HueCity, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s website said. ‘We are honored to participate in such large-scale exercises with other 16 countries of the world. Due to the fact that we are meeting our goals together, we become stronger and so sharpen their professional skills,’ Poltorak was quoted as saying. Aboard the Hetman Sahaidachny Poltorak met with sailors and was briefed on the progress of the international Maritime military exercises by commander of Ukrainian Navy Vice-Admiral Ihor Voronchenko. Poltorak also met with representatives of Kyiv Association of military attaches, during which he briefed foreign representatives about military reforms underway. ‘Separate divisions of Ukraine’s naval forces of Ukraine are involved in fighting in eastern Ukraine. They demonstrate great professionalism and patriotism in the fight for the territorial integrity of the country. International exercises are extremely useful and constructive. I want to thank foreign colleagues because they, along with improving our military skill, help our soldiers to acquire new knowledge,” Poltorak was quoted as saying.

UAWire – US drone conducts reconnaissance flight over the Donbas

The strategic American unmanned surveillance aircraft RQ-4A Global Hawk made a reconnaissance flight along the line of demarcation in the Donbas on Sunday, July 16, reported Interfax news agency with reference to websites that monitor flights of military aircraft. It was noted that during the flight, a long-distance drone with the call sign UAVGH000 flew from north to south along the line of demarcation in the Donbas for hours without crossing it. The drone flew at an altitude of 16,700 meters. Taking into account the drone’s abilities to conduct reconnaissance to a depth of up to 300 km, the RQ-4A Global Hawk could observe the whole territory of the LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) and DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic), as well as the border regions of Russia. The US drone reportedly flew out of the Sigonella airbase in Sicily. It entered Ukrainian airspace over the Mykolaiv region and headed towards Mariupol. After completing the assignment in the Donbas, it left Ukraine north of Moldova. The RQ-4A Global Hawk has been known to conduct reconnaissance flights in the Donbas almost every month. Its earlier flights to the line of demarcation in the Donbas were recorded on May 14.

Militants launched 16 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day – 17.07.2017 09:17 — Ukrinform News

17.07.2017 09:17. Militants launched 16 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas over the past day.

One Ukrainian soldier wounded in ATO zone in last day – 17.07.2017 13:36 — Ukrinform News

17.07.2017 13:36. One Ukrainian soldier was wounded in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone in eastern Ukraine over the past day.

On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | USOSCE

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kate M. Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna July 13, 2017 Thank you, Mr. Chair. The tenuous “harvest ceasefire,” the 40th such recommitment to observe a true ceasefire in the nearly three years since the signing of the Minsk Protocol, has come under dangerous strain this past week. The Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine recorded a 25 percent increase in ceasefire violations, and more than a threefold increase in the use of Minsk-proscribed weapons from the week before. We were saddened to learn that artillery and mortar fire resumed near Svitlodarsk for the first time in over two weeks. Nonetheless, there were some bright spots in the SMM reports. In Horlivka, for example, ceasefire violations fell for the third consecutive week – by 90 percent over the past seven days – and violations fell by 70 percent outside of Mariupol. These gains must be protected and built upon, or they will quickly unravel, just as was the case in each prior ceasefire attempt. All sides must uphold their commitments to withdraw troops and heavy weaponry from the line of contact, and to halt exchanges of fire. Maintaining the ceasefire is critical for people living in areas affected by this Russia-fueled conflict. The SMM’s reports provide a tragic reminder of the impact of years of unabated violence, including 2,800 civilians who have died. Over the past week, at least four more civilians were killed or wounded by explosions or shelling. We remind all forces of the need to minimize the risk of harm to civilians. We are deeply concerned that, once again, the SMM found evidence of shelling near the power plant in government-controlled Schastia. We also note that Avdiivka-Yasynuvata remains a hotspot, despite the presence of the Donetsk Water Filtration Station, on which over 345,000 people depend for drinking water. Many towns and villages are already experiencing severe water shortages, and a direct hit on the facilities could trigger a grave crisis.

“LPR” members take deaf female hostage amid crossing Donbas contact line

Members of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (&quot;LPR&quot;) have taken a 39-year-old deaf woman hostage at a checkpoint in the occupied sector of the bridge in the village of Stanytsia Luhanska, according to the media portal LIGA.net. News 17 July from UNIAN.

UAWire – Ukrainian Prime Minister calls for peacekeepers in the Donbas

In his speech for the Day of Ukrainian Peacekeepers, Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman called for a peacekeeping mission to be brought …

UAWire – The US Congress allocated $410 million worth of financial aid to Ukraine in 2018

The Committee on Appropriations of the US House of Representatives initiated the allocation of $410 million of financial aid to Ukraine in 2018, …

Poroshenko promises $11.5 mln for brand new Oplot tanks for Ukraine’s army

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced that over UAH 300 million, or US$11.5 million, is to be allocated for the purchase of brand new Oplot T-84 main battle tanks for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), according to&nbsp;an UNIAN&nbsp;correspondent. News 17 July from UNIAN.

The forgotten war in Donbas. Ceaseless fighting in eastern Ukraine, explained -Euromaidan Press |

Anatolii Shara For the fourth year in a row, Ukraine is fighting an undeclared war with Putin’s Russia. But it seems that Ukrainian media are more interested in the colors of Justin Trudeau’s socks, Trump and Putin’s body language at the G-20 meeting in Hamburg, or permanent scandals with local pop-singers giving concerts in Russia. All that media frenzy overshadows the real war in Donbas and, worst of all, the fallen soldiers who gave their lives so that ordinary citizens have a possibility to visit cafes, cinemas, theaters. It is even practically impossible to know the names of the killed military men as monosyllabic reports from the spokesperson on ATO-related issues do not disclose the details on who and how was slain in this so-called “hybrid war.” The more time the war goes the more it appears that it only matters to those who directly involved. Still, in 2017 the Armed Forces of Ukraine are in far more better shape than they were at the beginning of 2014. Certainly, the nature of fighting has seriously changed – the active hostilities four years ago have been replaced by a trench war.

Ukraine’s Women Soldiers Tell Their Stories of Life on the Front – YouTube

Ukraine is being defended by its brave soldiers, both men and women. UATV would like to tell the stories of some of the Ukraine’s female defenders. How they …

Ukrainian Ex-Lawmaker Says Russia-Backed Separatists Confirm They Are Holding Blogger

A former Ukrainian lawmaker says Russia-backed separatists in the eastern region of Donetsk have confirmed that they are holding a blogger who contributes to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)….

UAWire – Ukrainian Ministry of Defense introduces a new unified system of logistics support

In an attempt to ensure the reliable provision of resource needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other defense components, the Ministry of …

UK to increase aid for Ukrainian troops battling pro-Russian forces – Mirror Online

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “We continue to stand side by side with our Ukrainian friends in the face of Russian belligerence”

Army boots | Made in Ukraine – YouTube

Army boots are high-heeled boots with laces that are an obligatory component of any army set around the world. Lace-up boots fix the ankle cuff enough to red…

SE “Kyivprylad”. Space | Made in Ukraine – YouTube

Kyivprylad [literally “Kyivdevice”] – is an enterprise that manufactures different devices for the aerospace and energy industries. _ Follow UATV English: Fa…

Professor Volodymyr Dubovyk On Ukraine’s International Relations – YouTube

Volodymyr Dubovyk is the Director of International Studies at Odessa National University with experience teaching at various international universities. He s…

WSJ: EU should reduce political cost of Ukrainian reforms to maximize their effect – LB.ua news portal

Despite that Ukraine has fulfilled part of its obligations in the sphere of European integration, obstacles remain on its way to EU membership, says the observer of The Wall Street Journal, Simon Nixon. In his 16 July article, the author wrote the Ukraine-EU summit, held last week, showed that both sides have something to celebrate. For Ukraine, it became an occasion to draw the attention of European leaders to the reforms that have been carried out since the Maidan events. For Brussels, in turn, the summit was victorious because it showed that the EU managed to maintain a common policy position towards Ukraine and Russia against the backdrop of political instability that has recently embraced the continent. “However, behind the warm words were hidden real reasons for concern,” the observer notes. Thus, Nixon noted, the result of the summit did not become a joint declaration of leaders, which would consolidate Ukraine’s desire to become a member of the EU in the long term. At the same time, the author notes that in the short term this should not bother Kyiv, as Ukraine continues to receive technical and financial assistance from Brussels for the implementation of democratic processes. The analyst emphasizes that everyone agrees that Ukraine will need “years or decades” before it is ready to join the EU. At the same time, WSJ notes, Ukrainian officials are concerned about the lack of a long-term perspective due to the fact that the conflict in the East of the country complicated the implementation of reforms. Nixon notes that Russia seems to be inclined to “increase the cost” of the program of Ukrainian reforms. “Its attempts to destabilize the situation in Donbass, where the situation has escalated this year, as well as permanent cyberattacks against the government, hampers investors and create additional pressure on the state budget, ” the author writes. . Kyiv managed to succeed in implementing reforms, but in order to maximize their positive effect, the EU must find a way to “reduce the political costs” of these reforms, the author concludes. During the summit last week, President Petro Poroshenko reminded EU leaders about Ukraine’s right to European integration.

As Ukraine Fulfills Some European Aspirations, Obstacles Loom – WSJ

Ukraine last week got a chance to show off its steps toward fulfilling its European aspirations, but persistent economic and political challenges make its path to the EU difficult.

EU agrees to allow in more Ukraine exports for three years

EU foreign ministers approved on Monday measures to allow Ukraine to export more industrial and agricultural products free of tariffs to the bloc in recognition of reforms undertaken by Kiev and the country’s fragile economy.

EU Foreign Ministers Endorse Trade Measures For Ukraine

BRUSSELS — European Union foreign ministers have unanimously backed a decision to grant Ukraine temporary trade preference for some agricultural and industrial products, following a similar decisio…

Corrupt Ukraine is ground zero in clash between East and West, US and Russia | Fox News

Ukraine is the central battleground between the rapidly fraying West and the brutally ascendant East. As NATO bickers over defense contributions by member states, Article 5 commitments and its renegade member Turkey, Russia is taking concerted action to secure its borders, expand its influence and weaken the bedrock alliance that has kept the peace in Europe for the past 60 years.

PM Groysman hopes for adoption of Marshall Plan for Ukraine

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman is looking forward to the adoption of a Marshall Plan for Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian news portal LB.ua. News 17 July from UNIAN.

Hroisman anticipates “Marshall Plan” for Ukraine

EN.Censor.net – Ukrainian News site. Ukraine crisis News in English. in all time, sorted by date

PM Groysman: Metallurgical complex incurred heavy losses due to Russian aggression – 17.07.2017 10:18 — Ukrinform News

17.07.2017 10:18. Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman on July 16 congratulated employees of the mining and metallurgical complex on their professional holiday, the government&acute;s portal reports.&nbsp; In his speech on this occasion, the prime minister said: “The industry incurred heavy economic and infrastructural losses from the Russian-terrorist occupation of separate regions in Donbas, as well as the annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Despite these challenges, the industry is actively operating, and its enterprises transfer all kinds of taxes to the national budget. The mining and metallurgical complex has significant prospects for further development.” Volodymyr Groysman also noted that Ukraine should attract significant amounts of investments so that this complex can further develop, as well as implement well-considered privatization policy towards state-owned enterprises.

UAWire – Ukrainian Naftogaz will spend $1 million on anti-corruption investigations

NJSC Naftogaz Ukraine has announced open tendering for the purchase of independent financial and anti-corruption investigation services, as …

Reenactors at Hetmanate Museum Show Visitors Life in the 16th Century – YouTube

Bright costumes and spectacular battles, music, and dance. The cozy patio of the Museum of Hetmanship turned into a real Cossack town for several hours. _ Fo…

Kyiv Celebrates Bastille Day by Remembering 1000 Years of Shared History with France – YouTube

Kyiv residents also took part in the festivities. Enthusiasts have developed a travel route connecting two French restaurants in the Ukrainian capital. On th…

What Happened to Ukraine’s 5,500 Lenin Statues? – The New York Times

Once there were thousands of Lenin statues in Ukraine. Today there are none officially standing, so Niels Ackermann and Sebastien Gobert set out to discover where they ended up.

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

UAWire – Israel opposes Russia-US agreement for truce in Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel opposes the Russia-US agreement for a truce in southwest Syria, as it strengthens …

Mortar Shells Hit Russian Embassy In Damascus, Syria Says

Mortar shells hit the Syrian capital of Damascus, with two of the projectiles hitting the Russian Embassy and causing some material damage, Syrian state media says. The state-run SANA news agenc…

Russia Killed ISIS Leader Baghdadi? Kremlin Says It Still Isn’t Sure

Russia is still not sure whether its military killed Islamic State militant group (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

ISIS Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Is Not Dead and Will Turn Group Into ‘Al-Qaeda on Steroids’

A top Kurdish official says they have information the most wanted man in the world is still alive.

Baghdadi still alive: Iraqi official

Abu Ali Basri, the director general of the intelligence and counter-terrorism office in the Ministry of Interior, claimed Baghdadi was still “in hiding” in Syria outside of Raqqa.

UAE hacked Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials – To Inform is to Influence

The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in late May that sparked the ongoing upheaval between Qatar and its neighbors, according to U.S. intelligence officials. Officials became aware last week that…

UAE minister denies any hacking of Qatar

The United Arab Emirates was not responsible for an alleged hack of Qatari websites which helped spark a month-long diplomatic rift with Doha, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs said on Monday.

UAE Minister Denies Any Hacking of Qatar | World News | US News

US News is a recognized leader in college, grad school, hospital, mutual fund, and car rankings. Track elected officials, research health conditions, and find news you can use in politics, business, health, and education.

UAWire – Turkey signed a memorandum on delivery of missile defense systems with Eurosam concern

Turkey has signed an agreement of cooperation with Franco-Italian concern Eurosam to develop its own anti-missile defense complexes. At the same …

American citizen gets 10 years in Iran for spying – CNN.com

An American researcher has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after a conviction for spying, according to Iran.

Iran sentences Princeton graduate student to 10 years for espionage, report says – The Washington Post

Xiyue Wang, a 37-year-old PhD student, was reportedly detained in 2016.

DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports

North Korea fuel prices surge after China cuts oil sales

Gasoline and diesel prices surged in North Korea in the weeks after a Chinese state oil company suspended fuel sales to the reclusive state, according to data reviewed by Reuters and an interview with a North Korean defector.

North Korea’s Iron Ore Exports Rise – Bloomberg

North Korea has seen an export boom when it comes to iron ore. Bloomberg’s Bruce Einhorn reports on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia.” (Source: Bloomberg)

North Korea on agenda for US Ambassador Joseph Yun’s trip – CNN.com

When US Ambassador Joseph Yun visits Myanmar this week, he’ll likely be trying to convince a longtime military partner of Pyongyang to join US efforts to rein in Kim Jong Un’s nuclear efforts.

South Korea Proposes Military Talks With North at Their Border – The New York Times

Such talks would be the first in years, and the North’s reaction will be the first test of the new South Korean president’s pro-dialogue policy.

AP Explains: South Korea pushes for talks with North Korea – The Washington Post

Less than two weeks after North Korea’s first intercontinental ballistic missile test, South Korea’s new president has offered to hold talks at the tense border separating the two Koreas in what would be the rivals’ first face-to-face meeting in 19 months.

South Korea to deploy new radar to detect North Korea drones – UPI.com

South Korea has developed radar that can detect small drones, according to Seoul’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

Winning a war against North Korea would come at ‘great cost’: Here’s what it might look like

“To initiate military options takes you from a world of zero casualties to a world of tens of thousands in a best case, and quite possibly a million or more, especially if they use nuclear weapons,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a senior foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution. In other words, risking war with the unpredictable regime of Kim Jong Un is “unthinkable,” except that for more than 60 years, an army of Pentagon planners has thought of little else. Most of U.S. wargaming over the years has focused on the problem of repelling an invasion from the North. The Pentagon’s off-the-shelf war plan for the defense of South Korea, known as “OPLAN 5027” is updated regularly and includes a massive logistics scheme for quickly reinforcing the roughly 28,500 U.S. and 500,000 South Korea troops that would face off against North Korea’s million-man army. Only once since 1953 has the U.S. come close to launching an offensive, pre-emptive strike on the North. In 1994, then-Defense Secretary William Perry ordered options drawn up for an attack on the North Korea’s nascent nuclear reactor at Yongbyon. The idea was to take out the nuclear facility with U.S. F-117 stealth fighters and cruise missiles before its fuel rods could be reprocessed into weapons-grade plutonium, estimated at the time to be enough to make a half-dozen bombs. But Perry concluded the attack would likely incite the North to attack the South, and – weighing the same risks of all-out war that Mattis faces today – he pulled back. “I decided against recommending that option to the president at that time,” Perry wrote in his 1999 book, “Preventive Defense.” The risk calculus now is even more complicated, because North Korea has shown it can detonate a nuclear device underground and claims it can make a bomb small enough to fit atop a missile, a capability it has yet to demonstrate.
Bunkering down: sales of nuclear shelters climb in Japan wary of North Korea tests | World news | The Guardian

Fears of devastating earthquakes and tsunamis are giving way to concerns over atomic attack following multiple missile tests conducted by Pyongyang

The weird world of North Korean stamp design – CNN.com

North Korea has marked the anniversary of the Korean War — and its annual “Struggle Against US Imperialism Month” — by releasing two anti-American stamps.

Back in 1968, North Korea Captured 82 Americans and Almost Started World War III | The National Interest Blog

The capture of the Pueblo marked a worst-case disaster scenario for U.S. intelligence.

China’s growing intolerance for dissent will come at a high price | World news | The Guardian

By pushing the Hong Kong opposition out of the legislature and persecuting Liu Xiaobo, Beijing may have set in motion a new era of resistance

China military: Chinese Army conducts live-fire drills in Tibet

The brigade that conducted the drills was from the PLA’s Tibet Military Command and is one of China’s two plateau mountain brigades, Global Times reported today.

China flexes its military muscle in Tibet, close to border dispute with India | South China Morning Post

Armed forces take part in live ammunition drill that one observer says was intended as a clear warning to India

High Noon in the Himalayas: Behind the China-India Standoff at Doka La | WOTR

If you’re struggling to make sense of the latest standoff between the Chinese and Indian militaries 10,000 feet in the Himalayas, don’t fret: You’re in goo

Reserve Right To Retaliate, Says Indian Commander After 2 Die In Pak Fire

India on Monday said it reserved the right to respond “appropriately” to Pakistani firing along the Line of Control (LoC) after an 8-year-old girl and a soldier were killed in Jammu and Kashmir in heavy shelling by Pakistani forces.

Foreign Policy Reports

Window on Eurasia — New Series: There May be an Ethnic Card to Be Played in Lithuania But It isn’t Russian, Commentator Suggests

Paul Goble Staunton, July 17 – Because there are no non-citizens in Lithuania and because the percentage of ethnic Russians there is miniscule, most discussions about that country’s future ignore the ethnic issue. But a Rosbalt commentator says that conflicts among Lithuanians, Poles and Belarusians threaten to become “’a bomb’ under Eastern Europe.” Russian commentators have often pointed to the fact that both Belarusians and Poles often view Lithuania’s capital Vilnius as “theirs” because it was not part of Lithuania until Stalin made it so, but neither Warsaw nor Minsk has made this an issue. Nonetheless, Denis Lavinkevich says, there are tensions (rosbalt.ru/world/2017/07/14/1630598.html). Not only are there sizeable Polish and Belarusian communities in Lithuania – the former outnumber the ethnic Russian one there and the latter may be larger than many think, but Lithuania counts on the contribution these two countries make to its economic well-being, Belarus by transit arrangements and Belarusians by purchases. Indeed, the commentator says, “Vilnius along with Warsaw and Prague is now one of the centers of the new Belarusian emigration, that is, of those who have ‘run from Lukashenka,’” including the European Humanities University which relocated from Minsk to the Lithuanian capital. Moreover, there is “the religious factor.” Vilnius’ churches are clearly divided into “’Lithuanian,’ ‘Polish,’ and ‘Belarusian,’” and there are “almost no Orthodox among Poles and Lithuanians.” And since 1991, Lavinkevich says, “a generation of people has grown up in Lithuania, Poland and Belarus which is convinced that ‘Vilnius is our city.’” Among Belarusians, Viktor Yevmenenko of the Belarus Security Blog says, such feeling are especially strong, and today, he insists, “Vilnius for Belarusians is the very same that Mount Ararat is for Armenians. Belarus without Vilnius, like Armenia without Ararat is like someone without a heart.” According to Lavinkevich, the Polish and Belarusian communities in Lithuania are strengthening because new arrivals find it easier to fit into firms that are controlled and dominated by their co-ethnics. Andzhey Pochobut, a Belarusian journalist of Polish origin, says that “territorial problems in Polish-Lithuanian relations don’t exist … [But] at the same time, Vilnius is an important city for Polish history and in Lithuania lives a Polish minority, which unfortunately doesn’t have the rights which Lithuanians living in Poland do.” He points out that “there are problems with the writing of Polish names in documents, with bilingualism in places where Poles live compactly and so on. All these issues should have been resolved long ago … but they remain a problem in Lithuania. This seriously hurts reealtions between the countries.” Indeed, Pochobut says, “there is a threat that this problem could be used for the unleashing of a conflict between official Warsaw and Vilnius.” He adds that “it is in the interests of both states to eliminate the problems of the Polish minority as fast as possible and resolve all problems in this area.” Olga Karach, a Belarusian businesswoman in Vilnius, says there is another problem, what she calls “’the strange nationality,’ ‘Russian Poles.’” Most of these are “citizens of Lithuania with Belarusian roots who succeed in ‘masking’ their background: if needed, then they will ‘recall’ that they are Russians or on the contrary that they are Poles.” According to her, “among the Poles, ‘Russian Poles’ are the city’s second largest nationality group, and there exists a hidden conflict with the Lithuanians,” one “connected in the first instance with the language question.” Karach says that the Lithuanians have brought this on themselves. After 1991, young Lithuanians did not want to learn Russian anymore but young Russians did even as they acquired Lithuanian as well. Now, the bilingual Russians find it easier to get jobs than do Lithuanians who don’t know Russian.

Ukraine, Moldova introduce joint border control at Kuchurgan-Pervomaisk crossing | KyivPost

Joint border control between Ukraine and Moldova has been introduced at the Kuchurgan-Pervoimaisk crossing, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said. “We are starting with joint border control with Moldova with the participation of the EU at the Kuchurgan-Pervomaisk crossing. This is one more step towards controlling the borders according to EU standards,” Klimkin said on his Facebook page. The press service of the Cabinet of Ministers of Moldova announced the joint crossing point would be opened on Monday with the participation of Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Poroshenko, Philip open checkpoint on Ukrainian-Moldovan border – 17.07.2017 10:57 — Ukrinform News

17.07.2017 10:57. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko today pays a working visit to Odesa region, where he will open together with Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Pavel Filip a joint checkpoint on the Transdniestrian section of the Ukrainian-Moldovan state border.

Visiting Moldova, one of the least-visited and unhappy countries in the world | Stuff.co.nz

Forget “off the beaten track”, this is the second-least visited country in the world.

Moldova’s Reliance On Russia, Transdniester For Energy Seen As Risky

WASHINGTON — Moldova is among the most vulnerable countries in the world in terms of energy security, with protracted conflicts in Transdniester and Ukraine potentially putting it in a perilou…

Transnistria Forcing Young Into Army, Moldovan Report Says :: Balkan Insight

A Moldovan rights organization, Promo-Lex, says the separatist administration in Transnistrian is forcing more and more youngsters to join its armed forces – where some have died in suspicious circumstances.

Macron restates France’s responsibility for WWII roundup of Jews – France 24

French President Emmanuel Macron underscored France’s responsibility for the World War II deportation of Jews on Sunday while marking the 75th anniversary of the detention of more than 13,000 people at the Vélodrome d’Hiver (Vél d’Hiv) in Paris.

Macron, Netanyahu honour the Jewish victims of France’s WWII deportations – France 24

French President Emmanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday commemorated the victims of a mass roundup and deportation of French Jews that took place on July 16-17, 1942.

‘France organised this’: Macron denounces state role in Holocaust atrocity | World news | The Guardian

Speaking during a visit by the Israeli prime minister, French president dismisses far right claims that the Vichy regime didn’t represent France

Macron Denounces Anti-Zionism as ‘Reinvented Form of Anti-Semitism’ – The New York Times

Joined by Israel’s prime minister, he said the French alone were responsible for the July 1942 roundup near Paris of Jews who were sent to death camps.

French President Macron’s Nuclear Dilemma

French President Macron is juggling a diverse cabinet of ministers, some who would cut nuclear power and some who would not. Left-leaning energy minister, Nicolas Hulot, wants to cut while the new Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, from the nuclear company Areva, wants to maintain nuclear as is.

Trump and Macron’s body language speaks volumes, experts say – CNNPolitics.com

Experts in etiquette and body language analyze the handshake between President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Is Sweden really the best place in the world for immigrants? – The Local

A new US study has concluded that Sweden is the best place in the world for immigrants, but do immigrants in the country agree?

US Domestic Policy Reports

Is Putin funding anti-fracking groups? Republicans think so — and so did Hillary Clinton – To Inform is to Influence

SUNDAY, JUL 16, 2017 06:00 AM EDT It sounds outlandish — but there are hints that some anti-fracking activists have received Russian money MATTHEW SHEFFIELD Does Russian President Vladimir Putin want to stop hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in Western nations the same way he allegedly wanted to harm the electoral chances of 2016 Democratic nominee…

Russia suspected of using Bermuda shell company to exploit American anti-fracking activists – To Inform is to Influence

Two short paragraphs deserve to be highlighted: “If you connect the dots, it is clear that Russia is funding U.S. environmental groups in an effort to suppress our domestic oil and gas industry, specifically hydraulic fracking,” Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican Texas, said in a statement. and “The Kremlin seeks to influence American debate in ways that look…

Russia Turns Up the Heat on Trump Over Seized Property – Bloomberg

Russia stepped up pressure on the U.S. to return seized diplomatic compounds in one of the first tests of whether Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin can convert the personal rapport of their initial meeting into improved relations.

Ahead Of Meeting, Russia Presses For Access To Diplomatic Compunds

Russia is again calling on the United States to restore its access to two diplomatic compounds that were seized in December by then-President Barack Obama’s administration. Foreign Ministe…

Why Europeans Oppose the Russia Sanctions Bill – WSJ

It imperils the Continent’s energy security and would end up benefiting Moscow.

Warner: Russia tried electoral hack in 21 states – YouTube

Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Cmte. Mark Warner tells Jake Tapper that we must get answers about the Russian interference, so we can be ready in 2018.

Paul Manafort’s shady deal with Ukrainian party makes no sense | New York Post

More evidence emerged Saturday of the shady operations of the Kremlin-linked Ukraine political party that hired Donald Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort as a…

Schiff: Washington Democrats meeting with Ukrainian officials for Trump dirt would have been ‘inappropriate’ | Fox News

California Rep. Adam Schiff said Sunday that fellow Washington Democrats acted “inappropriately” if they indeed met with Ukrainian officials to get potentially damaging information on 2016 GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Sekulow: Democrats “Actually Exchanged Documents With Foreign Government” In Ukraine | Video | RealClearPolitics

CNN’s Jake Tapper and Trump legal team member Jay Sekulow accuse each other of trying to change the subject when Sekulow brings up a report that a Democratic consultant met with representatives from the Ukrainian government to counter alleged “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Ukraine’s rival, Russia.

Trump’s Lawyer Defends Son’s Meeting With Russians, Says President Had No Knowledge Of It

One of U.S. President Donald Trump&rsquo;s lawyers has defended his son, Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer last year in hopes of obtaining damaging information about his Democrati…

Media More Dangerous Than Russia, Says Conservative Radio Host

Conservatives demonize the media while fawning over Putin.

What Trump Supporters Think of Russia Probes Doesn’t Matter

Yes, the press has been reporting assiduously on Russia, but only because Trump appears to have so flagrantly violated the rules and norms of American democracy.

Trump, Mattis lose as ‘Space Corps’ proposal survives in defense policy bill

There’s one less hurdle for a new military branch focused on space after an amendment meant to derail it failed Wednesday to get approval from the House Rules Committee for a public floor debate.

Space Corps Military Branch Approved by House – House Passes National Defense Authorization Act With Space Corps

The House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) yesterday, including legislation that would require the Air Force to create a new branch of the military called the ‘Space Corps’ by the beginning of 2019.

 

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